California bans minors from tanning beds

Don’t worry Cali teens, the government will protect you from yourself:

There will be less California minors walking around trying to damage their precious hides on purpose after a new law — the first of its kind in the U.S. — goes into effect that prohibits anyone under 18 from using a tanning bed.

But as using tanning beds can lead to skin damage like melanoma, and early tanning can up that risk, it seems like a good move to prevent cancer later.

Quite obviously this is borne of a paternalistic intent to protect minors from the risks involved. As the government sees it, minors are too young and stupid to understand the risks and therefore must have the government make the decision for them. By this logic, everyone should be banned from tanning beds; if it is dangerous and adults still do it then clearly they don’t understand the risks either! Why set such an age limit? Doesn’t everyone deserve equal protection from their own bad decisions?

Note: California is not the only state with such laws. Many states have various age restrictions, but California is the first to ban everyone under 18.

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